Back to Blog

is ui design for me
Design

Is a UI Design Career for Me? [Pros, Cons & Expectations]

10 minute read | November 6, 2023
Sakshi Gupta

Written by:
Sakshi Gupta & reviewed by Meg Clayton

Sakshi Gupta

Reviewed by:
Meg Clayton

Free UX Design Course

Dive into UX design with our free starter course. Transform your creative ideas into user-friendly solutions.

Enroll for Free

Ready to launch your career?

As our lives have become increasingly digital, the visual appeal and user-friendliness of digital products have become increasingly important too. Design-centric roles, including UI design, are projected to grow by about 16% in the coming decade. Companies recognize that the digital interface is often a consumer’s first interaction with their brand, making the role of a UI designer relevant and indispensable.

With such a substantial increase in demand and the allure of diving into a creative and dynamic profession, many people are interested in the potential of a career in UI design. Yet, a lucrative and thriving field doesn’t automatically mean it’s the best fit for everyone. 

Is it the right path for you? We’ve created this guide to provide you with more clarity. Delve in as we look at the pros and cons of UI design and highlight the key criteria you need to consider when making a decision.

Is a UI Design Career for Me?

Pursuing a UI design career can be one of the most fulfilling choices for those with a flair for creativity. The industry promises a competitive salary and offers the opportunity to craft visually pleasing and functional digital products.

As a UI designer, every project brings a fresh challenge and lets you blend technology with creativity. It’s not just about pixels and palettes. You’ll frequently collaborate with a diverse set of professionals, from developers to marketers. If you love aesthetics and functionality and thrive in interactive settings, UI design might be the perfect fit for you.

A Career in UI Design: Pros and Cons

Like every profession, a career in UI design has its own set of benefits and challenges. Let’s look at a breakdown of the pros and cons associated with this field.

Pros 

Here are some advantages of UI design to consider:

  • Creativity unleashed: At its core, UI design is about creating captivating visual experiences.
  • Competitive salary: UI designers are in demand, resulting in lucrative pay packages and job security.
  • Diverse projects: From apps to websites, the multitude of projects ensures that the work is rarely monotonous.
  • Collaborative environment: Work alongside professionals from various fields, fostering a continuous learning experience.
  • Flexibility: Many UI designers enjoy the privilege of remote work or freelancing, offering a desirable work-life balance.
  • Ever-evolving landscape: The digital world is continually changing, meaning there’s always something new to learn and adapt to.

Cons

Also, consider the challenges that might come along the way:

  • Tight deadlines: Projects sometimes require quick turnarounds, leading to stressful crunch periods.
  • Subjectivity: Design can be subjective, and not everyone will appreciate or agree with your vision.
  • It’s all in the details: If you want to work in UI design, then you need to have an eye for details. 
  • Intense competition: The field is becoming increasingly saturated, making it essential to continually hone your design skills and stand out.
  • Client challenges: Navigating client expectations and feedback can sometimes be demanding and tricky.

How Do I Know if UI Design Is the Career for Me?

UI design captivates many, but how do you know if it aligns with your professional and personal goals? Let’s find out!

UI Design Is for You if…

… you have an innate passion for blending aesthetics with technology. Individuals who thrive in this field have an eye for detail, a fondness for problem-solving, and a desire to improve user experiences.

If you enjoy staying updated with UI design trends, love collaborating with design teams, and find satisfaction in seeing your creative visions come to life, UI design could be your calling.

UI Design Is Not for You if…

… you’re resistant to change or find it challenging to adapt to evolving technology landscapes, as UI design requires continuous learning.

If you dislike receiving critical feedback, struggle with tight deadlines, or prefer more predictable tasks, this profession might not be the best for you.

How To Decide Whether UI Design Is for You

Pursuing a new career is always overwhelming, but the key lies in self-assessment and introspection. Here are a few strategies to help you decide.

  1. Know What a Day in the Life Will Look Like

  2. Take an Online UI Design Course

  3. Consider Your Technical and Soft Skills

  4. Try a Sample UI Design Project

  5. Talk to UI Designers

Know What a Day in the Life Will Look Like

A day in the life of a user interface designer involves juggling multiple tasks, from sketching initial design ideas and wireframing to collaborating with developers and addressing client feedback. Expect a blend of creative sessions, technical problem-solving, and team communication. 

Before committing, ask yourself if you’re keen on such a varied, dynamic work environment and enjoy its challenges and rewards.

Take an Online UI Design Course

Exploring UI design through an online course is a practical way to get a taste of the field without investing too much time initially. 

Many platforms offer courses tailored to beginners. For instance, the Springboard UI/UX Design Bootcamp provides a thorough curriculum and job guarantee.

Consider Your Technical and Soft Skills

List down your current skill set, both technical and interpersonal. In UI design, skills like familiarity with design tools, understanding user behavior, and problem-solving are essential. On the soft skills side, effective communication, adaptability, and teamwork are paramount. 

Identify where you excel and which areas require further development.

Try a Sample UI Design Project

Get hands-on experience by undertaking a sample project, like redesigning the interface of your favorite local business’ website. Projects like this can help you understand the complete design process, from research and conceptualization to final implementation.

Talk to UI Designers

Engaging with professionals at various stages of their careers offers diverse perspectives. While junior designers can provide insights into the current learning curve and industry entry challenges, experienced professionals can shed light on long-term growth, industry changes, and the evolving nature of the profession. 

Such conversations can give you a holistic understanding, helping you discover your place and potential in the UI design world.

UI Design Career Overview

Let’s look at the core aspects of a UI design career, exploring its roles, prerequisites, salary, and ways of progressing. 

What Does a UI Designer Do?

A UI designer focuses on crafting the visual elements of digital products, ensuring they are both functional and visually appealing. 

In a team or company setting, they often collaborate with user experience designers, developers, and marketers, translating brand identities and user needs into cohesive designs. While bearing similar responsibilities, freelancers also handle client communications and project management and often wear multiple hats to bring a project to fruition.

General Prerequisites for a UI Design Career

To enter the world of UI design, you need a blend of knowledge, skills, and experience. 

Foundational Knowledge

Aspiring UI designers should understand design principles, color theory, and typography. It’s also beneficial to grasp user-centric design approaches to ensure the created user interfaces appeal to the target audience’s preferences and needs.

Here are some basic concepts you should grasp:

  • Balance: The distribution of visual weight in a design. For instance, a webpage where the left side has a heavy, dark image while the right side is empty can appear imbalanced. A UI designer might counterbalance this by introducing a complementary design element or text on the right side.
  • Complementary colors: Use colors opposite each other on the color wheel, like blue and orange. For example, a website promoting beach vacations might use blue for the ocean and orange for the setting sun to create a visually pleasing contrast.
  • Hierarchy: Using different font sizes and weights to convey importance. On a news app, headlines might be bold and large, subheadlines slightly smaller, and body text the smallest.
  • User testing: Gathering feedback from real users. If a UI designer creates a new navigation menu, they might have users test it to ensure it’s intuitive and meets their needs.

Education

While many UI designers have degrees in design or related fields, the landscape is increasingly accommodating for self-taught individuals. Pursuing specialized courses, workshops, or UI design certifications can teach you the required skills. 

Particularly, employers often emphasize portfolios and practical experience over formal education.

Skills

A successful UI designer needs to grasp both technical and soft skills. Key attributes include but are not limited to:

  • Proficiency in design software (like Adobe XD or Figma)
  • Understanding of responsive design
  • Wireframing and prototyping
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication and collaboration skills
  • Problem-solving capabilities

Tools

UI designers rely on a variety of tools to improve their design process and must constantly stay updated as these tools evolve and increasingly depend on artificial intelligence.

Beginners should be familiar with platforms like Sketch, Adobe XD, or Figma for design and tools like InVision or Marvel for prototyping. Figma is also now used for prototyping, too. As they progress, expanding tool proficiency can enhance their efficiency and make their work more valuable.

Other Requirements

In addition to formal education and skills, building credibility through internships, volunteering, or mentorship programs can prove invaluable. These experiences offer hands-on exposure and can be significant stepping stones in pursuing a UI design career.

UI Designer Salary

is ui design for me, annual salary

In the US, the average salary for a UI designer ranges based on experience and location, but many professionals enjoy competitive compensation, with experienced designers reaching an average of $96,721 per year.

UI Designer Career Path

As they accumulate experience, junior UI designers progress to senior or lead UI designer roles, specializing in mobile design or animation. Some also transition into broader roles, such as design management, venture into user experience design and product design roles, or start their own consultancy business.

Get To Know Other Design Students

Valena Del Valle

Valena Del Valle

Junior Product Designer at The Hartford

Read Story

Allyssa Van Camp

Allyssa Van Camp

Student at Springboard

Read Story

April Hoang

April Hoang

UX Designer at Microsoft

Read Story

UI Design Job Market and Demand

The digital landscape has revolutionized how we interact with technology, amplifying the need and importance of intuitive user interfaces. UI design, as a result, has increased in demand dramatically. 

UI Design Job Market

As businesses recognize the value of user-centric design in driving engagement and conversions, they’re more keen to invest in skilled UI designers. As stated earlier, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment in design-centric roles, including UI design, is projected to grow by about 16% in the next decade. While competition is stiff, given the profession’s appeal, those with a combination of skills and experience stand out and can ask for an attractive salary.

What Is the Scope of UI Design?

UI design predominantly revolves around enhancing digital platforms’ visual and functional aspects. It means improved user retention, engagement, and, often, revenue for businesses. 

Looking ahead, as artificial intelligence also increases in importance, the scope of UI design is set to expand. AI tools will undoubtedly assist in automating design processes, and there will be an increasing need for interfaces that can effectively communicate sophisticated machine processes to users.

Are UI Designers in Demand?

is ui design for me, Are UI Designers in Demand

Yes. A study by Onward Search highlighted that UI design roles ranked among the top 4 most in-demand jobs across all industries sought to fill, underscoring the profession’s increasing demand. Similarly, the rising salaries of UI designers also indicate demand.

Pursuing a Career in UI Design: Real-Life Examples To Inspire You

Hearing real-life stories can inspire everyone who wants to pursue a career in UI design. Here are two examples from those who’ve walked the path before.

Rachel How

YouTube video player for 7OhauLZpJoU

Rachel How shares her journey of becoming a UI/UX designer in just three months without having a formal degree or prior experience in the field. She emphasizes self-learning and complete dedication to self-study and practice, mentioning various resources and tools that someone can use to succeed independently.

Jacques Trouillet

is ui design for me, real-life examples, Jacques Trouillet

This article shares the story of Jacques Trouillet and his journey from a background in marketing to becoming a UX/UI designer in just half a year.

Jacques began his journey with online courses from Coursera, Skillshare, and OpenClassrooms. He also consumed content from YouTube, Medium, and podcasts, showcasing the importance of utilizing various resources for self-learning. Jacques started by redesigning a website for a shoe brand he previously worked for and took on challenges like the Daily UI Challenge, posting his designs on Instagram. Besides that, he also networked and took on formal training through a bootcamp.

He highlights the importance of diversifying your learning sources, engaging with the community, and never stop practicing.

Is UI Design for Me? FAQs

We’ve got the answers to your most frequently asked questions.

Is UI Design a Fun Job?

For many, it is! UI design can be an immensely fulfilling and creative profession. Designers experiment with colors, shapes, and interactivity to create engaging digital interfaces. While many enjoy the creativity and dynamic nature of the job, others might find the iterative feedback process and client demands challenging. It often boils down to one’s passion for design and problem-solving.

Can I Become a UI Designer With No Experience?

It is possible, but it requires dedication. Many UI designers start without formal experience but invest time in learning UI design, usually through a combination of online courses, workshops, and real-world practice. Building a solid design portfolio showcasing your work, whether personal projects or pro bono, can demonstrate your skills and commitment to potential employers or clients.

Does UI Design Require Coding?

Not always. But while UI designers primarily focus on the visual aspects of a platform, having a basic understanding of how your designs will be implemented can improve collaboration with developers. Some roles might expect a UI designer to know HTML, CSS, or even JavaScript, but many positions allow designers to specialize solely in the design aspect without coding.

Should I Go Into UI or UX Design?

It depends on your interests. UI focuses on visual design, ensuring the interface is aesthetically pleasing and intuitive. UX (User Experience) delves deeper into the user journey, providing a user-friendly product that meets the user’s needs.

If you’re more visually inclined and enjoy graphic design, UI might suit you better. If you’re interested in understanding user behavior and improving overall product usability, consider UX.

Which Pays More: UI or UX?

Historically, UX roles might offer slightly higher salaries, especially for senior or specialized positions, due to the broader responsibilities encompassing user research, strategy, and more. Nonetheless, the pay gap might not be as pronounced as the distinction between UI and UX blurs in some companies and as roles become more integrated.

Since you’re here…
If you’re looking to move into design, having strong UX and UI skills is a major edge. Our UI/UX Design Bootcamp has earned graduates jobs with the most competitive organizations on earth, and 99.5% of our students are fully employed within 12 months of graduation. Check out our student reviews for good feels, and If you’re totally new to the field, try our free intro course.

About Sakshi Gupta

Sakshi is a Managing Editor at Springboard. She is a technology enthusiast who loves to read and write about emerging tech. She is a content marketer with experience in the Indian and US markets.